wage reward

Today marks the start of Living Wage Week. Living Wage Week is run by the Living Wage Foundation and is a UK-wide celebration of the Living Wage movement.

Here at Benefex, we became an accredited Living Wage Foundation organisation back in April this year. The Living Wage Foundation promotes a Living Wage which genuinely reflects the cost of living within the UK. It differs from the National Living Wage which was implemented earlier this year in that it is not mandatory – it is a higher rate of pay which employers can choose to sign up to and become accredited as a result.

Why bother?

Why did we choose to do this? Well, this quote from the blog post I wrote at the time probably sums it up most succinctly:

“The success of our business is intrinsically linked to the 160 employees who work here. Without their drive, enthusiasm and passion, we wouldn’t have accomplished even a fraction of our achievements to date.”

It’s my personal view that every organisation out there should be working towards accreditation from the LWF. Why? Well, there are a million and one reasons that you should be thinking about it, but here are just a few to get you started:

You can recruit the best. The best and brightest entry level candidates will be able to take their pick of roles. By elevating your entry level salary from the basic National Living Wage, you immediately stand out to these candidates as an organisation who really rewards their people, and thereby ensure you’re top of their list as an employer.

Your reward strategy focuses on your stars of the future. Where does the bulk of the funding for your current reward strategy go? To the top of your organisational hierarchy, right? While ensuring your organisation’s leaders are fairly rewarded is of course important, the risk here is that you focus disproportionately on your higher paid roles… and neglect your future leaders currently working within entry level roles. LWF accreditation means you have to ensure that focus is also spread to your more junior employees, who are accordingly motivated as a result.

A small investment can have a huge impact. The chances are that the direct financial cost of achieving LWF accreditation isn’t as much as you think. The majority of your employees will likely already be paid at a rate above the LWF hourly rate. What we have seen here from our first-hand experience at Benefex though is the enormous impact increasing someone’s hourly rate of pay can have for them and their family. Watch out for some of the case studies we’ll be sharing at Benefex over the course of the week.

You’ll drive engagement. It stands to reason that those employees who know they are being fairly rewarded and whose financial concerns are directly mitigated as a result are going to be those employees who are most engaged. Why? Well, the addressing of that ‘fair reward’ piece tackles a pretty major obstacle between them and engagement, and gives them the head space and the focus to get behind the organisation’s objectives and really start to help to drive them forwards.

It’s just the right thing to do. Everyone should have the right to receive a fair day’s pay for the work that they do. A fair day’s pay means pay which genuinely covers the cost of living. LWF accredited organisations are those organisations who are committed to doing the right thing by their people.